MoonDragon: (sighs) Kk, I'm in another bet with the same friend, heh heh. I lost the other one (any of you laugh, then you're heartless!) and I'm absolutely going to win this! I have to make this story over 30,000 words and it has to be COMPLETE which might actually be my downfall, heh heh. I seem to have a habit of not finishing them. I'll give this a shot though, so support me everyone.
Oh, and if you see any mistakes, don't think I'll bite your head off if you point them out to me.
This will be my only disclaimer. I DON'T OWN SAILOR MOON. If I did then this story would be a million times better.
A strawberry swirl ice-cream cone was placed in her hands as Minako cheerfully licked the melting droplets from the treat. Currently she was walking through the park wasting time until her friends arrived. School had just let out a short while ago and they all agreed to go see the movies. At the moment Ami was staying after school to complete some extra credit assignment and Makoto was going over to the private high school Rei attended to tell her their plans. Rei's cell phone's battery must be out of juice because they couldn't get a hold of her.
Her plain white cat, Artemis, was striding along side her as she made her way to their meeting place; a lone bench just in front of the lake running through the park. Minako had found Artemis seated by the school gates awaiting her arrival. Sometimes Minako could swear that her cat was smarter than the average pet. Not only did he know directions around where they lived and where everything was placed but when she told him about her day it seemed like he really listened and understood. Of course, Minako figured that every person thought that about their animals and then considered him normal.
The only thing abnormal about Artemis was a golden patch placed neatly over his forehead. Minako found it odd that no matter what she did the patch couldn't be removed. From using soap and water to trying to manually remove the object it stayed in its place. The blond found it strange seeing as she only noticed it two years ago. One day the patch just appeared from who know where. After Artemis had nearly clawed her arm off for trying to yank it off Minako gave up trying to remove it.
Ami's cat had the same golden seal on her forehead. As a coincidence, Minako's friend had found Luna as a stray on her doorstep two years ago coming with the patch already stuck. Artemis's owner usually joked saying that it was their wedding rings and their symbol of love. From day one the idea of cat marriage entered her mind and she was always saying how they were soul mates. Of course, being a fellow follower of cupid it was her job to hook anyone up; even if they're cats.
Halfway done with her strawberry treat the bench that she and her friends were supposed to meet at came into view. Crunching into the cone Minako noticed a golden flash coming from their meeting place. Taking another few steps closer she discovered it was hair belonging to someone seated on the bench. Minako took a moment to gaze at how long it was in amazement. It had been rolled up on top into two symmetrical buns with pigtails coming down. Even tied up like that her tresses still managed to reach the grass lightly falling upon it. Minako wondered why it seemed so familiar but brushed it off thinking she must've seen it in a teen magazine. Shrugging her shoulders to herself she supposed they would have to share the bench. After all, it was Minako and her friends meeting place. She guessed the blond wouldn't care too much if she had some company.
Getting closer to her destination Minako could hear soft whimpers and hiccups occasionally. Now in a closer view she could she that the stranger's shoulders were slightly shaking and it didn't take a genius to discover that the girl was crying. Concerned, Minako rushed to the front of the bench wondering why she was so sad. The ice-cream nearly fell from her hands, but she managed to keep it in its place. Artemis ran along side me as if he knew something was wrong too.
From the front Minako could see more clearly the girl's outfit. It was the same one she had on which obviously meant that this person must attend her high school. Currently she was crying attempting to keep silent but failing just a bit. Her face was buried into her hands as if trying to shut herself off form the rest of the world. Tears slipped through the openings her fingers created not doing much to conceal her mood. Clearly the girl hadn't noticed Minako in front of her until she spoke getting a jump out of the sorrowful girl.
"Are you alright? What's wrong?" Minako inquired placing a comforting hand on her shoulder. Not even bother to wipe away the evidence of her tears she looked up at Minako with red, puffy eyes. Now with a clear image of her face Minako pondered quizzically to herself. Something about this person felt so familiar… she couldn't place her finger on it. In the corner of her mind a strange feeling resurfaced but Minako was too focused on concern for this girl to pay it much attention.
The golden haired teen said nothing, only looked up at Minako in bewilderment. It was as if she thought she was a phantom that came to place a curse on her. For a moment Minako wondered whether she was see-through since the teenager continued to stare without muttering a word.
Feeling awkward, she restated her question. When Minako asked again it made an unintentional wave of fresh tears stream down her face and the blond wondered if she said something wrong to offend the crying girl. She was about to ask something again but the mystery person spoke first.
"Mina… ko-chan…?" she hiccupped crying even harder finding out who it was. A light inside Minako turned on as she realized she must really know this stranger. Otherwise there was no way she would know her name. Trying desperately trying to recall this teen's name she found she couldn't. Some part of her mind was blocked off preventing the name to be discovered.
Suddenly Minako felt the golden haired girl freeze under her touch. Quickly she jerked up from the bench leaping away from her hand as if it were scalding her skin. Startled by her random behavior Minako made a move to step closer and ask what was wrong once again. Just like the previous attempts the teen said nothing and this time shied away backing up. Her crystal blue eyes which used to cascade tears now widened in fright. She began to mumble her words like she was unsure of what exactly to say.
"Oh… um… you shouldn't… shouldn't have been here… I thought I was just seeing things! Um … you… ah!" The last part came out quick and rushed unlike how she started off; slow and unsure. Minako's curiosity ignited pondering over just what exactly that was supposed to mean. A second after the words left her lips the teen darted away making Minako gasp. Determinedly, she wanted to quench her curiosity and took off after her. Leaping from her position she accidentally dropped her ice-cream cone letting it fall into the ground in a melted heap. Even Artemis seemed concerned as he didn't even lap up the remains of the treat following the two teenage girls.
The mystery girl ran into the forest trying to lose track of Minako through the bushes and trees. Unfortunately for her the blond wasn't losing track and followed her without fail, although she was slowed down by the terrain. Minako wondered how this person could be so nimble dodging trees and branches like she did it for a living. Each second that passed by she was losing more and more sight of the escapee. Thinking about where they were Minako grinned triumphantly as she knew there was a patch up ahead that would prevent her from getting any further. The trees and bushes would soon be so packed together that only Artemis would be able to get pass them. She had her caught. For a whole minute the teen was out of sight but Minako was able to hear where she was going by the footsteps crunching the leaves.
Up ahead no more sounds were made and she was positive she had reached the end of the line. Pushing pass branches and running through bushes Minako and Artemis stared in wonderment at what was in front of them.
The gold haired teen was facing them but she was rapidly disappearing. Silver light encased her and her form began to get lighter and lighter until it almost disappeared. It was as if she was teleporting away. Minako gasped not believing what was happening before her eyes. She had to rub her light blue orbs to make sure she wasn't hallucinating. Now the girl was barely visible almost as if she were a ghost. Then something else happened that she didn't expect.
The teen with long hair smiled through her tears which had started falling again. Sadly she looked at Minako and Artemis with a fond look shaking her head. She mouthed the words 'don't get involved with me,' and finally disappeared. Minako ran up to the fading light trying to grasp hold of it but it too dispersed along with the stranger. The blond and the cat were left alone in the woodland area gasping at what just transpired.
'WHAT was THAT?!' Minako basically screamed inside her mind trying to regain her composure. 'Did she just disappear?! No way… I must be on a sugar-high form that ice-cream… yeah, that must be it.' Another wave of nostalgia struck her and she began to wonder if this day could get any weirder. 'It's almost like I've seen this happen before,' she thought trying to remember just where it was she witnessed it. She looked down towards Artemis to see his take on this.
His eyes were wider than hers if that was possible. He seemed to be having difficulty breathing as he just stared at the place where the stranger had previously been standing at. Underneath all of Artemis's shock Minako swore she saw him smile. That was impossible too though. She figured today must be one of those weirdo strange days where nothing seemed to make sense.
Now gazing at her wristwatch she gasped noticing the time. By the time she had run into the woodland area and spent time pondering ten minutes had passed. Seeing as there was nothing else she could do to could quench her curiosity she retraced her footsteps making it to the bench where three other girls now occupied. One of them included an angry black haired girl tapping her foot impatiently.
"Minako! We've been here for 15 minutes! Where were you? You should've been here first!" she scolded and the blond rolled her eyes. Rei was always on someone's case when they were late.
"Something weird just happened," Minako started off diving into a story. "There was this girl sitting on the bench and she was crying. So I tried to ask her what was wrong but she ran away." As she explained she noticed that Artemis had disappeared. He sometimes did that and she was positive he would be home when she got back.
"And?" Rei asked not realizing the point of the story. Ami and Makoto were seated on the bench. Ami listened patiently and Makoto seemed halfway in-between both of their listening eagerness.
"Well, she said my name and then just ran away! You expect me to not be curious?! I went after her but I… lost track of her…" she explained leaving out the disappearing bit. Minako didn't need them thinking she was crazy. If someone told her that something like this happened to them, Minako would suspect they'd been stranded in the desert hallucinating from lack of hydration.
"That's very strange," Ami analyzed. "She said your name, did you know her?"
"I think I do. I'm not sure, I don't know." Makoto stood up stretching her arms.
"Well, she must've just not wanted anyone to know she was crying and left. Anyways! Lets all get to the movie theater. They're going to start the movie soon!" Makoto announced. They all agreed and started going off to the park entrance. Minako was still curious even though the subject had been dropped. That girl had called her by name and there wasn't a doubt in her mind that they knew each other somehow. It was as if a string of fate had just been tightened and she was determined to find out who that golden haired girl was.
Minako flipped through a teen magazine during study hall the next day. Idly she gazed at the latest models and singers and sighed dreamily lost in a fantasy. As soon as she got out of high school she was positive she would someday be a pop idol or a famous singer. She couldn't wait until her image was plastered on every magazine and billboard in Japan and smiled widely at the thought.
Internally she knew she should be studying but she brushed off her school books anyways. This was much more interesting than an old, dirty textbook by a long shot. Plus, when she was looking through these types of things unfocused she always managed to pick up some good gossip. Sometimes their gossiping was useless and full of high-pitched giggles, but nevertheless it was always interesting. Following their laughter was a teacher screaming at them to quiet down. Today seemed to be special since the girls behind her were talking just loud enough for Minako to hear yet soft enough to not be caught by the teacher.
"Did you hear that there was another attack by a monster thingy last night?" the first girl asked excitedly twisting her fingers in a strand of her hair twirling it. Minako frowned slightly; those things were dangerous and you shouldn't talk about them happily. Not when they tried to kill people nearly everyday. Not when it was her and her dearest friends who had to deal with them!
Minako's back soon turned erect wondering where that thought came from. She fought them? No, that wasn't right, she had never even seen one in person, let alone faced one off in battle. It must've been a stray, silly thought. Maybe Minako had a dream about killing them and that was how she came up with the idea. Now she started to get drawn into their conversation eavesdropping more intently.
"Yeah, it was on the news this morning. Right before anyone got hurt Sailor Moon showed up and killed it!" the other shrieked just as excited covering her mouth at the loudness of it. The study hall teacher gave her a stern look and she bowed in her seat slightly for the outburst in apology. When he stopped looking and went back to reading his paper they continued their conversation. The first girl sighed happily.
"I just love Sailor Moon's outfit. It's so cute! It's much better than her first one. Silver and gold are totally the perfect colors for her. They, like, match her hair and complexion! It's so majestic and noble." They giggled softly trying not to get in trouble again, and then went into a conversation about her outfit's style and accessories.
"I wonder what happened to the other senshi. Sailor Venus, Mars, Mercury, and Jupiter…" the other wondered aloud in thought clicking her tongue, catching Minako's interest. For some reason the image of Sailor Moon never stuck in her mind. Like every time she saw a picture of the heroine it just instantly left her. As for the other senshi, nothing could be recalled about them. Not even the color of their uniforms or the color of their hair. She was always at a blank when it came to the subject of them
"Yeah, they just disappeared two years ago for no reason! What's up with that?! The press has been hammering Sailor Moon about that whenever they can when they actually manage to get a word in after a battle. She never answers any questions and is too quick after the monsters are gone to be asked any. Ah, I want to know what happened!!"
"If I hear another word from you two you'll be out of this room faster then you can imagine!" the teacher bellowed shutting up the girls for good this time. Minako pondered over what that girl had said. Really, where had those senshi gone to?
For a moment Minako was filled with a void of loneliness and empathy. She stepped into Sailor Moon's boots and wondered what it must be like. Did the senshi abandon her leaving the heroine to fight by herself? No, she didn't think they would do that. Something else must've happened.
Her eyes misted over and she found herself fighting off tears. How hard must it be to fight alone? With no comrades or anyone to talk to... it must be more painful beyond words to describe it. Just being by yourself everyday unable to turn around and have someone standing beside you… Her hands started to tremble and she held them in her grip trying to stop. No matter what, without a doubt, Minako was sure Sailor Moon was lonely. And that thought pierced her heart like a swift arrow. The person next to her gave a strange look but said nothing and went back to working on a math problem.
Minako looked backwards afraid to look down in case the tears slipped through. She gazed upward to the increasing slope that elevated the back of the room trying to keep her emotions under control. When she was finally able to compose herself Minako was about to turn around but stopped as a bright flash of golden hair caught her attention.
That crying girl was in her class and was currently sleeping in the back row. Minako smiled knowing she finally had her this time. She was going to get her answers.